As a student, there’s probably a lot on your plate.
But who says you can’t make money while you study?
The question that you’re probably asking is “what business idea is the best for me?“
To start a business as a student, you need an idea that fits in your budget from both a money and time perspective.
To be clear, what I mean is – you have a lot to do, so you don’t want a business that requires too much of your time or money.
With that in mind, in this post, I have put together 15 creative business ideas for students.
Let’s get started.
15 Creative Business Ideas for Students
One of the best feelings to have, especially as a student, is not having to worry about money.
But to make this a reality, you need a successful business.
Here are 15 business ideas to make you some money while in school:
1. Social Media Management
These days, almost everyone is on social media.
All sizes of brands are trying to build their social media presence.
You’ll be surprised to know that many of these brands aren’t actively managing their social media accounts.
In fact, many brands don’t have a social media manager.
Social media management is a business that you can successfully run even as a student.
One of the biggest reasons for this is – you don’t have to do the required work manually.
There are countless free and paid tools to help you automatically manage social media accounts.
This business idea gets even better if you’re naturally the type of person to spend a lot of time on social media.
You may argue that everyone loves spending time on social media, but the questions you should ask yourself is “do I love building brands?”
If yes is your answer, then you can channel the time you spend on social media towards earning by helping businesses to build their brands.
Here are some reasons why social media management is a great business opportunity for students:
- You don’t have to be on a fixed schedule – as long as you make it clear to your clients in the agreements you make, you can have a lot of work flexibility.
- It’s not time consuming – you can easily batch and schedule most of your work, which can save you a lot of time.
- You don’t need a lot of money to start – social media is free, as well as many of the tools you can use to manage it.
To get a social media management business started, you should take some time to plan it out and make a decision on your packages, pricing, availability, and everything that will be crucial to the business.
2. Graphic Design
Graphic design is another great business idea for students.
Just like social media management, a lot of brands need graphic designers.
You could get started by designing flyers, posters, and other things for small businesses in your community.
To be as practical as it gets, the main thing you need to get started with your graphic design career is a laptop.
If you feel like you don’t have a lot of experience yet, there are a lot of graphic design courses online – both free and paid – that you can get started with.
Give yourself a month or two to learn the basic skills through these courses.
However, the best way to learn is by doing – which is why I recommend doing a few projects for yourself for a start to build your portfolio.
As you begin to feel more confident, you can start reaching out to clients and charging more for your services.
Graphic design is a business that runs on referrals, so make sure that your clients are happy, and don’t be shy to ask your happy clients to give you a referral and leave you a review too.
To get your graphic design business started, read this article.
3. Web Design & Development
Another great business idea for students is web design or development.
Honestly, there is a need for website development services.
There are still so many businesses without websites (or with outdated websites).
Most business don’t have websites simply because they haven’t seen the value yet.
It doesn’t take much to show business owners the value of having a website – having a strong online presence is crucial and it’ll only become more important.
To be successful as a web designer, you also need some experience and a few completed projects under your belt.
Becoming a good web designer requires dedication – it can be a lot of work especially at the beginning stage – because it can have a steep learning curve if you don’t have any programming experience.
There are several freelancing platforms that can help you expand and stabilize your freelancing experience such as Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancer.
But for start, build websites for local business and people around who need it and are willing to pay.
To learn how to start a web design & development business, check out this article.
4. Makeup Artist
If you’re into beauty and makeup, then this is a great opportunity for you to make some money while in school.
There will most definitely be events or even simple photo shoots that you can offer your makeup services for.
To get this business started, you need to know how to do makeup for sure.
You can learn for free online or take a makeup course on Udemy, Skillshare, or any online course platform really.
You also need all the standard makeup equipment as well as product varieties to allow you do makeup for several people.
To start a makeup business, check this out.
5. Hair Stylist or Barbing
Being a hair stylist is another great business idea for you as a student.
The good thing is that you don’t have to be a professional hair dresser.
You can decide on the services that you choose to offer – typically those that you feel confident with.
For example, if you’re not really good at dying hair, then you can limit your services to just styling people’s hair for special events.
You may also be good at braids or other types of work – all you have to do is specify the things you offer and make sure you’re really good at what you do.
One reason why starting a hair stylist business is great is that you don’t need a lot of money to begin.
Also, you can encourage customers to come with their own equipment as your build your tool inventory.
The most important part of this business is having happy customers and getting good reviews from them.
Just like graphic design, this business idea is heavily dependent on repeat business – which is why it’s important that customers remain happy.
And to achieve that, you have to do a good job at hair styling while also offering exceptional customer service.
Generally, your aim should be to make the experience enjoyable for your customers.
Almost the entire world has gone digital – no doubt, online business has become a huge thing.
People make a lot of money blogging by providing massive value to their readers.
What’s awesome about it is that there are so many free resources to help you learn everything you need to know about blogging.
As a student, blogging is a great business idea you should definitly give a shot because you can get a blog started for next to nothing.
I mean, if you spend money on any monthly subscriptions, then you have all it takes to start a blog (just saying).
Why am I advocating so much for blogging?
Because it an insane potential to grow exponentially – both financially and based on reach.
To start a blog, you need a few basic things:
- A profitable niche to write about – Blogging isn’t only about what you’re passionate about. To be successful as a blogger, you have to write about things that people are interested in. Remember that your aim is to make money as much as it is to help people (or you would’ve started a charity).
- A website domain – After deciding on a niche, you need a name for your website. It is a good idea to choose a name that allows you to expand your brand in the future if you decide to.
- Website hosting – The next thing you need to do after choosing your domain name is connecting it to a host. There are several hosting providers, you just need to choose one that fits your budget and needs.
- A blog strategy – Many bloggers completely overlook this. It is important for you to have a strategy on how you plan to grow your blog. How many times will you post? What topics will you post about for the next few months? Take your time to ask all the necessary questions before getting started.
If you want to know everything about blogging, check out this awesome post.
7. Virtual Assistant
If digital organizing, planning and scheduling is your thing, then you should definitely consider starting a virtual assistant business.
Many online entrepreneurs have so much to do on a daily basis that they have a hard time organizing their work efficiently.
This is where your virtual assistant services can be very useful.
You can help your clients organize their work better through the services you offer.
Based on your proficiencies, you may offer services such as Data Entry, Typing, Editing, and other related services.
Thankfully, there are now a lot of free collaborative tools that you can use in planning your work and keeping both you and your client organized.
To learn more about being a virtual assistant, check out this post.
A few years ago, nobody would’ve counted YouTube as a business idea.
But YouTube has now grown so much from what it used to be – a platform for random funny videos.
To what it is now – a place to give value, build a brand and make a lot of money (and still a platform for random funny videos).
What I’m trying to say is that YouTube has such huge potentials to make money.
Just like blogging, you have to decide on a suitable niche and then make a plan on what type of content you will produce on a regular basis.
With YouTube, just like with most things, it’s very important to be consistent.
The good thing about YouTube is, you don’t need a lot of money to start.
You don’t even need any money at all with the basic things in place.
If you have a phone with a good camera, then you’re all set.
There are free editing programs and very affordable paid ones too.
Also, you don’t need a laptop to edit your videos – you can start by editing with your phone and upgrade your equipment as you grow.
Overall, YouTube is an awesome opportunity to make money online as a student.
To learn how to start a successful YouTube channel, check out this post.
If you have an eye for photography, then you should consider starting a photography business.
There are so many ways to approach this, but first, you need to decide on who you want to serve and what type of photography you want to do.
Here’s what I mean. Look at these different examples of photography:
- Wedding Photography
- Nature Photography
- Formal Photography (Passports, Professional Photos, etc)
- Brand Photography
- Stock Photography
These are just a few examples, but first, you need to decide where you want to begin.
A good strategy for this is – do a little bit of research into your local area and find out what type of photography is in demand.
To get started with photography, you may need some equipment, depending on the type of photography you’re starting with.
However, if your photography doesn’t have much to do with direct clients e.g. Stock Photography or Nature Photography, you can get started with just a good phone camera and good lighting.
To learn how to start a photography business, check out this post.
10. Event Planning
Not everyone is cut out for event planning.
But if you’re good at coordinating social activities, then you should give this a shot.
You can start by organizing smaller events – reach out to small organizations in your area that might be interested in planning events – churches, schools, workplaces.
As you build a portfolio of events that you’ve planned, people are more likely to trust you and come back to you for future events.
To get this business started, you need a few contacts – get in touch people that can supply you all the basic things you need to plan events.
But don’t get worked up about it, you can always build more contacts as you go.
To learn more about event planning, check out this post.
11. Delivery & Logistics Services
Although there are several big name logistic services, many times, they don’t do a great job at local deliveries.
You can fill this gap by offering logistics services in your local area.
Look out for restaurants, local shops, and other businesses that would be more efficient if they could supply services directly to their customers.
You can start by reaching out to those companies and offering your delivery services to them.
However, trust is a huge factor when it comes to deliveries – you can offer other businesses peace of mind by creating a comprehensive contract.
You can get help with drafting a contract from a qualified lawyer – which you can find on freelancing platforms like Upwork, Freelancer or Fiverr.
To get started with logistics services, you need transportation.
This business idea does requires some money to help you get started.
But for a start, you can stick to smaller errands with a bicycle or motorcycle and upgrade your fleet as your business grows.
To start a delivery business, check out this post.
12. Fashion Design/Tailoring
If you have a passion for fashion design then this is a great business idea for you.
Again, for a start, you have to decide what types of clothes you want to specialize in.
For this business to be successful, it requires some publicity.
You can start a social media account to help you get some publicity and customers early on.
You may start by creating outfits and selling them online, on your social media platforms or on your website.
As your business and credibility grows, you can start making custom designs for customers.
To start a fashion design , you need some equipment for sure.
However, you can get a lot of used equipment at discounted prices online.
To learn how to start a fashion design business, check out this article.
Online business is now massive.
I know that there’s been a lot of talk about eCommerce, but it really is a great business opportunity.
You need to decide on things like:
- what products you would like to sell on your eCommerce site
- how you will source them
- how you will reach your target audience
- how you will deliver your products
There’s a lot to think about when starting an eCommerce business, depending on how you plan it out, you may not need a lot of money to get it started.
You can sell homemade products such as soap and candles.
You can also but products cheaper in bulk and sell with a profit margin online.
To learn more about eCommerce, check out this article.
14. Device Repairs
If you’re techy and you love repairing stuff, you can start a device repair business even as a student.
This does not require a whole lot of money to get started.
Not everyone has a lot of money to buy a new device when something happens to their old device.
This is where your service becomes really helpful.
To save costs on this business, you could also offer a device disposal program where people could dispose their old or faulty devices with you – then you can recycle the good parts for your device repairs.
You could also buy faulty devices off Facebook Marketplace or Ebay, get them fixed or refurbished, and sell them at a higher price.
Check out this post to learn how to start a device repair business.
Now let’s end with a school-related business idea – tutoring.
If you find that you’re really good at a particular subject (or subjects), you can tutor others on it.
There are several ways to approach tutoring.
You can tutor your peers or people in a less advanced level.
The good thing about tutoring is that there are so many ways to go about it that you can get creative with it.
You can offer a paid course, post free videos on YouTube, or do direct one-on-one tutoring.
It all depends on you to decide how you want to go about it.
There are also so many online platforms for tutors and you can set up a profile on one of these platforms to get started.
To learn how to start a tutoring business, check out this article.
There are so many business ideas out there that you can be successful at – even as a student.
The key to making your dreams happen is being consistent and giving it your best.
If you read to this point, I’m confident that you can do a great job as a student entrepreneur.
If you’re ready to take action and achieve your financial goals, then you should take the next step to plan and start your business.
For a start, check out these posts:
Take action today! Don’t wait till tomorrow.
See you in the next post.
Hi, I’m Esther – a creative and business startup enthusiast. My aim is to help several people to independently start businesses faster and more effectively, reach financial freedom, and achieve fulfillment.